Rovine~Ruinas~Ερειπια~Ruins

The Archaeologists (Giorgio De Chirico)

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Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012: an archaeological approach

The Pavilion will be by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei, their first built collaboration in the UK (they did the Beijing National Stadium). It will take visitors beneath the Serpentine’s lawn to explore the hidden history of its previous Pavilions.

Hermit among the ruins (Nicolas Poussin)

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“Common Ground”: David Chipperfield’s Venice Biennale

David Chipperfield is curating the 13th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice “Common Ground” at the Giardini and Arsenale. The exhibition focus on the collaborative work of architects in shaping cities. It will take place between August29th to November 25th 2012 (preview on August 27th-28th).

“I want projects in the Biennale to look seriously at the meanings of the spaces made by buildings: the political, social, and public realms of which architecture is a part. I do not want to lose the subject of architecture in a morass of sociological, psychological or artistic speculation, but to try to develop the understanding of the distinct contribution that architecture can make in defining the common ground of the city.

This theme is a deliberate act of resistance towards the image of architecture propagated in much of today’s media of projects springing fully formed from the minds of individual talents. I wish to promote the fact that architecture is internally connected, intellectually and practically, sharing common concerns, influences and intentions.

(…)

My intention is to make neither an exclusive selection of projects on the basis of prejudice and taste, nor an uncritically inclusive exhibition. We wish to give the participants an opportunity to explain work within the wider context of architectural practice, not only as a demonstration of their own talent, but also to unite us in defining our ambitions and responsibilities.”

This is Chipperfield selection:

Zaha Hadid (installation on the history of the thin shell structures)

Norman Foster (Hong Kong HSBC headquarters, 1985)

Caruso St John

Farshid Moussavi

Peter Zumthor

Frank Ghery

Herzog & de Meuron (inviting a small group of European architects)

Patrick Lynch with Eric Parry and Haworth Tompkins (public life in London and design a performance space)

Muf (installation on Altab Ali Par)

FAT ( Museum of Copies inside a replica of Palladio’s Villa Rotonda)

Sergison Bates (social housing)

Steve Parnell, from AJ (role of magazines in architecture)

Read more

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Professor Joseph Rykwert

Professor Joseph Rykwert, George Simpson Visiting Critic at ESALA, delivered on Wednesday a masterful  lecture entitled: ‘The Body Politic’. As always, he took us though the history of the human mind, breaking time boundaries and inspiring new thinking. His sharp and careful selection of images,  brings up his architect’s mind and creativity, and we just wish they would be more buildings by him around!

Wednesday, 28 March, at 6 pm in Old College Lecture Theatre 183.

Joseph Rykwert is Paul Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, and is widely regarded as one of the
most important architectural historians and critics of his generation. A highly influential teacher, he has taught at architecture schools around the
world. His books include The Idea of a Town (1963), On Adam’s House in Paradise (1972), The Dancing Column (1996) and The Seduction of
Place (2000). In 2000 Rykwert was awarded the Bruno Zevi Prize in architectural history by the Biennale of Venice, and in 2009 the Gold Medal
Bellas Artes, Madrid. He has been president of the International Council of Architectural Critics (CICA) since 1996.

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About precedents

There is sometimes the misconception that to look at the work of other architects constraints your creativity. Imagination has also its instruments, those of a previous knowledge and experiences, and needs a creative mind to give them a new narrative. Looking at architecture through history, architects innovated through the rethinking of past experiences. Ancient Roman architecture inspired the work of many architects: Brunelleschi, Palladio, Bernini, Borromini, Moneo…

Picasso created his work though a rigorous and painstaking process of learning from all the painting masters. The Picasso Museum in Barcelona, a place where I like always to bring students, displays this process of apprenticeship as an artist.

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Brisac Gonzalez

Have a look to the very interesting work of Brisac Gonzalez , for example to the interesting Museum of World Culture in Gothenburgh and to Le Prisme Concert Hall, Aurillac.

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Cathedral Square, Kalmar

Cathedral Square, Kalmar is an excellent example by architects Caruso St John and artist Eva Löfdahl of new landscape within a historic city.

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Juan Navarro Baldeweg

The reuse of the Martos Mill as Museum of Water by the architect and artist Juan Navarro Baldeweg (watch an interview) is a very relevant project for the exploration of this unit, as it it the whole of Navarro’s work. More information on his projects in El Croquis 133.

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David Chipperfield Architects

We had yesterday anoter interesting EUSAS lecture by Nick Hill, from David Chipperfield Architects, talking about the Hepworth Wakefield and Turner Contemporary galleries in Margate. An architecture of rigour, precision and sensibility. I remember seen with my students seven years ago the very large model of  the Hepworth Wakefield in the middle of Chipperfield’s offices in London, always developing and ready for David Chipperfield to see as he returned from his travels. A lot to learn from their thinking, their working methods, their attitude and the magic light they achieve in their architecture; an architecture of temperance.

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Imre Makovecz, curves and Anthroposophy

I  attended an exdellent lecture by János Gerle entitled The Legacy of Imre Makovecz – Organic Architecture from Beyond the Mainstream.  Beautiful drawings, an incredible imagination and technical knowledge. Incredible stories about the context in which his architecture developed, starting from the highly controlled architecture practice in 1960s-70s Hungary,: at some point a boss pinned a note in the middle of a drawing saying “please draw curves in your house for your children, and not in the office”. It brough to my mind the beautiful curve of the Royal Festival Hall towards the Thames, real architecture, without prejudices. Also interesting to learn more about how he was influenced by the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner.

Fascinating study of the minimum environment for a human being, his proposed reconstruction of Windsor Castle after the fire, his understanding of architecture as a social activity and the interrelationship between between thought and architecture. And very relevant for our unit, his new architecture on the ruins of the church of Vargyas.

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